“Wild Card”

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I still remember a certain “church leader”, at a previous church I attended, state that I was a “Wild Card” and she was not sure what “Mentor” she was going to pair me with for another Ministry series this church asked me to head up. I had already been attending, serving, as well as co-leading a Ministry in this church for several years.
This is the same “leader” that in addition to calling me a “Wild Card” took offense to when my children brought up the bullying that was going on in Children’s Church to where the teacher turned the other way, and that they were treated like babies with nursery time lessons. The same leader that started being critical of my children that have been in church 3 weeks after they were born, who would not be critical of anyone, to whom love God, and love people. Children I had to drag and pull the information out of them on why they were not liking children’s church at this particular church. The same 9 and 11 year old, innocent children, this “leader” started casting judgment upon. This is the same “leader” to whom believed the lies of an envious and insecure man leading a group who has not been so honest in the past. This the same leader who immediately believed altered texts and emails as the truth from this envious man (who was acting like an adolescent boy) without coming first to the source., verifying and validating. The same “leader” who preferred to believe gossip than to discover, find, and believe truth. The same “leader” who does not understand the meaning and application of Matthew 18:15-17 unless if made her look good and important to upper leadership or to the church “inner circles”.
I was not sure how to react to her condescending and near taunting statement. Unfortunately there was some unnecessary drama, back biting, gossiping, envy, pride, and basically a couple men acting like boys, and not men, in a particular men’s ministry, for a while, and just before this meeting and conversation. My children also asked if they could be taken out of children’s church and sit with me, or do something else, than attend this church’s children church. By the way, my children have never asked such a thing of any church in their lifetime. So, to have this leader say this to me, in addition to what was going on, it was disappointing, to say the least. Especially for how much of my time, talents, and treasure I invested with this church community.  Yes, it was concerning and disappointing, however, and unfortunately. this kind of stuff happens in church. Yes, there will be “haters” in church, as we are all human no matter in church or not.
I replied, “Well Jesus was considered ‘The Beautiful Outlaw’, and I believe as a man, we are all ‘Wild At Heart’ as shared and written in John Eldredge’s other book of the same title.
She then immediately replied, with a raised eyebrow, “Do you think you are Jesus?” (It was in a prideful and condescending tone and intent).
I really didn’t know how to respond to her tone at this point, and I replied with something similar to this, “Well, of course not. However we all are to strive to be like Jesus. It’s critical to His message. We will indeed fail and need grace forgiveness but the Gospel, and what much of what Paul wrote, is of what He did for us and we are to lead, love, serve, live and teach as He did, and I do not appreciate how you are being condescending.
Not sure if she liked that response, however further dialogue was not going to be fruitful, and it was apparent by this inexperienced and/or possibly Peter Principle placed leader. I moved on, and eventually it was evident from additional signs, it was well overdue and good decision to do so. That decision to move on, find a new church home, ended up being a great blessing for me, and my family. I had wished I heeded to the negative experience and signs much earlier.
Reading the first paragraph or two, some may think I am or was bitter over this “Wild Card” experience. I have forgiven this “leader”, however I will never forget.  I am not bitter, for it was a good lesson, and a good decision for my family and I to move on. The lesson I learned through this experience was there are times to move on, even if you feel as if there is still work to be done, even if so much energy and effort was already invested, and expended, even over the period of years. You see, God may be providing you signs, that eventually you cannot or should not ignore.
Sometimes it is applicable as well as biblical to “dust your shoes off” and move on, or time to no longer “cast your pearls before swine.
Yes, there are swines in church. Keep in mind, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. It is how you live in words, actions and deeds the other six day of the week.  In addition, the enemy loves to work hard on “church goers” and Christians alike, as he already has the unbelievers. If he can negatively influence or take down a Christian, it is like a touch down for him, the adversary, the enemy.
Secondly, never apologize for the man or woman God is molding you into, your faith, nor your zeal, whether some one may deem it “wild” or not.  Whether it is from some one in church, or out of church.
You are not everyone’s cup of tea, and you were not meant to be. Think of all the men and women of God that were greatly used by God, were they liked by everyone? Of course not. John the Baptist’s appearance and zeal may have shocked many back then, however He was most definitely used for a greater purpose, God’s purpose. Most, actually nearly all, thought Noah was a crazy fool. Peter was thought to be loud, and reckless, yet Jesus renamed him Rock in which the church will be built upon. Some, especially the “religious of that day”, thought Jesus and His disciples to be a bunch of drunkards, and outlaws, at times. The list of examples could go on, and on…
My piece of advice from experience and study is; as long as what you are striving for is biblical sound, you are utilizing your Spiritual Gifts, and it is done in love (even if it’s “tough love”); then KEEP ON KEEPING ON UNTIL GOD TELLS YOU TO MOVE ON as He did for me in this “Wild Card” situation.
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About DW

Living out my Ikigai and helping others find theirs which consists of seeking to launch life with purpose, navigating with principles, and exploring with passion!
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